On August 14 as every year since 2003 I took part in the traditional Chalk Art Festival in Grazie di Curtatone (Mantova, Italy).

Born in 1972, this was the first ‘Italian’ International Street Painting Competition. Every summer this event hosts many street painters and they work one very close to the other during the night too. It is part of a festival celebrating the Assumption and artists (called ‘madonnari’) are asked to create ephemeral drawings on asphalt. They have to paint religious subjects with chalk in 24 hours straight on, watched by an audience of up to 200,000 curious spectators.

My piece – “Protovangelo di Giacomo, 7,1” (Protoevangelium of James, 7,1) – was about 250 x 280 cm.

People were very interested about the meaning cause the iconography I followed is not common. I was inspired by The Infancy Gospel of James, an apocryphal gospel that presents a narrative concerning the birth of Mary, her childhood and dedication to the temple. I painted S. Anna with the little Mary of about 2 years old. Anne is first of all a mother who would like to hold Mary a little more before bringing her to the temple as in her husband decision. I put a goldfinch in Mary’s hands cause it would be a prefiguration of her future as mother of Jesus.

At the end I got the bronze medal in Masterclass category.

In the pictures you can see some moments of the work in progress of my piece!